Birthday Presents: Indie Publishing Business Names
So I had a birthday on Saturday. Wasn’t really anything exceptional. I worked most of the day, came home after midnight, and brought the mail in. Wife and kids were all sound asleep, so I sat down with the mail. Couple of cards, which I set aside unopened – my wife would want me to save those for later. Paycheck. That was a nice birthday present. New nursing license, in at last. Always good.
But I also got this little letter from the Secretary of State:
My certificate of trade name registration. For my publishing company.
That was an especially nice birthday present.
I think having a company name is important. There’s a sense of professionalism one has when operating “as a business”. As a culture, we take a business more seriously than we take a person’s individual venture. We see a business name attached, and it automatically gives the project more credibility. That’s true even if it’s a sole proprietorship, because we see the person as trying to “do it for real” when they register their business.
From a publishing perspective, what does this mean? A book with “Kevin McLaughlin” listed as publisher won’t be taken seriously by as many people as the same book, same cover, with “Role of the Hero Publishing” listed instead. Or “Red Heart Press”, or “Rocketship Books”, or whatever company name you might decide to use. Just like “Joe’s Garage” will be taken seriously by more people than Joe working on cars out of his actual garage would be, adding a business name gives your publishing effort an extra leg up.
Internally, I think it matters too. We’re not unaffected by our culture. By taking the time, effort, and bit of money to register a business, we’re telling our subconscious that yes, this is real to me. This matters. This is not my hobby – this is my business. Might not be full time yet, but I’m serious about it. It says the same thing to family, too. Sometimes, being able to say that the son/daughter/grandma/aunt/father/daughter-in-law or whatever is starting a publishing business (rather than “is trying to write a book”) is just easier on everyone involved.
There’s another factor, too. We’re in the middle of changes right now, changes which have allowed indies to “get in there” and make things happen even as individual authors with no business name, no special requirements at all. That’s how it is now; that’s not necessarily how it will always be, though. Things change – right now, the only sure thing is that we’ve got more change ahead. Individual writers might go right on being able to sell books – or things might change to make that impossible.
But the small press has been around a really, really long time. And it’s unlikely that any change coming down the pipe will wipe out the small press. So to some degree, emulating the business model of a small press will add viability to your business. It’s not a magic bullet, but it’s another small step toward making sure you’ll be able to keep doing things the way you want to do them as we march on into the future.
So for a variety of reasons – I strongly advocate giving this a try. It’s usually not too expensive. Found the business. Maybe set up a website for the company (or maybe save that for later – it’s not really critical right away). Take on the mantle of professional publisher, as well as professional writer. I think your attitude toward the publishing end of the work will be improved by the change.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Kevin on April 5, 2011 at 11:37 pm, and is filed under My Writing. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
No comments yet.
No trackbacks yet.
about 12 months ago - 10 comments
Back in February, I posted the results of some data mining, specifically about the bestseller lists for fantasy and science fiction. You can see the old article here. It seemed like now might be a good time for an update. There’s been much to-do about the change to the Amazon algorithms. The very-important “Popularity” ranking…
about 1 year ago - 2 comments
There’s 1,410,714 ebooks on Amazon as of this writing. By this time next year, that will have gone up to over 2 million. By this time in five years, I expect it to be over five million. By this time in twenty years, I expect it to be…well, really, really, REALLY doggone high. Breakout…
about 1 year ago - No comments
Someone recently commented to me that publishing is in a state of crisis, and gave a list of various problems facing the industry. I looked at his list, and realized two things. First, he was right – publishing is facing a lot of problems. Second, that digital technology and distribution were on their way to…
about 1 year ago - No comments
This year at BEA (Book Expo America), a number of sponsors are working together to bring a special all-Sunday set of workshops and seminars. They’ve named the experience “UPublishU”, and it’s ALL about self publishing. For $99, it looks to me like it could be a fun and interesting experience. Here’s a link to the…
about 1 year ago - 1 comment
No, it’s not walking on broken glass. Nor typing on broken glass, although I wouldn’t count that possibility out entirely if my three year old has anything to say about it! I’m writing this post on an iPad, using the virtual keyboard. No external keyboard, not bluetooth. Thus, writing on glass. I was always a…
about 1 year ago - 3 comments
At the London Book Fair, one of the major topics of discussion was publishers discussing cessation of DRM use on their ebooks. DRM – digital rights management – is the encryption added to digital media which prevents copying, conversion, and some other sorts of uses of the media. In some cases, it might force the…
about 1 year ago - 3 comments
Self publishing is an outstanding way to go. Dean Wesley Smith has just sounded off that his position is now that for novels, self publishing is a better method than traditional publishing unless you’re being offered a solid six figures per book. And possibly even then, depending upon the contract clauses the traditional publisher is…
about 1 year ago - 7 comments
This change IS a pretty big deal for indie writers. Amazon announced today in their KDP newsletter that they have updated their recommendations for cover sizes for Kindle ebooks. The new guidelines are a minimum of 1000 pixels on the long side – although they “recommend 2,500 pixels on the longest side to ensure better…
about 1 year ago - 13 comments
I am forced to wonder, after reading this latest interview with the noted president of the Author’s Guild, if the man has actually a) bought any books in the last decade, b) listened to any of the writers he is supposed to be supporting about what they’d actually like, or c) thought for fifteen seconds…
about 1 year ago - 6 comments
The Author’s Guild blog has just posted a letter from Scott Turow titled “Grim News”. The post expounds upon how the DOJ’s recent announcement it intends to file suit against major publishers for conspiring to fix prices on books is a terrible thing for everyone, and basically defends the assorted publishers’ actions. Leaving aside the…